A moving and touching true story that plays like a companion piece to Mark Wahlberg’s film “Patriots Day”. Stronger tells the story from the view point of a victim as opposed to the aforementioned Patriots Day which told the story of how the authorities captured the Boston marathon bombers’. Stronger feels like the more realistic of the two films. Gone are the gung-ho heroics and instead what we have is a story of how one man’s life changes from being fit and healthy to relying on family and friends for even the most basic of needs.

Jeff Buaman(superbly played by Jake Gyllenhaal) in 2013 was at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon waiting to cheer on his on-off girlfriend Erin Hurley (Tatiana Maslany) when the bombs went off resulting in Buaman having to have both his legs amputated at the knee.

It would have been all too easy for director David Gordon Green to show Buamans life through rose coloured glasses but instead he chooses to show Buaman as something of a reluctant hero. Chosen by the city as a symbol of the “Boston Strong” slogan, he’s wheeled out at various events and is somewhat exploited by the way that he’s used by city officials. One scene where he’s pushed out in front of tens of thousands of screaming ice hockey fans so that he can wave an American flag is hard to watch.

In a strange choice of casting, British actress Miranda Richardson, with a put on thick Boston accent, plays the part of Buamans over protective mother. However that’s not to take anything away from Stronger as after all it’s all about Gyllenhaal and his performance is fantastic.


Stronger (15)

1h 59m

Director: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson, Clancy Brown

UK Release: Friday 8th December 2017

Stronger - "He Shows Up" Clip

Stronger - "You're Gonna Be Okay" Clip